freelance copywriter, copywriting tips, white papers, rainmaking tips

You are a freelance copywriter and you have just been given the assignment of writing an ad that will run in a certain magazine. But you can’t write good copy in a vacuum. Who are the intended customers for this product? And what hot buttons appeal to them?

Well the fastest and easiest way to research these targeted prospective customers is to look at the magazine itself.

A successful magazine is a well-oiled marketing machine. These editors know their readers, or else they will be out of business in a New York minute. They've done all the research, so why not let the magazine itself show you what you need to know about its readers?

Start with the letter from the editor. What type of person is this letter written to? What are this person’s concerns, interests, problems, ambitions and lifestyle? Based on the editor’s letter, begin writing down a profile of the magazine’s reader as if this is one person.

Don’t think of the reader as a mass audience, just one single individual. Name him or her if you want. Imagine sitting in a coffee shop with this person. Put an empty chair in your room and visualize this person sitting in that chair across from you.

Now go onto the articles. The articles will help you sharpen and deepen your understanding of this reader. Why would this article interest this reader?

Keep writing your profile of this magazine’s reader. What does this person want? What life experiences are unique to this type of person? Why does this person read this particular magazine?

If you can, get back copies of the magazine. Every two or three years, a magazine will repeat and reslant the articles it publishes. Reoccurring themes in the articles are called “evergreen articles.” These are especially helpful in understanding this person.

Read the ads, especially the classifieds in the back of the magazine. If you see the same ad repeated over and over, you know the magazine’s readers are buying that product, or the advertiser would pull the ad. What do the ads tell you about this person sitting in the empty chair across from you?

Once you’ve looked at each and every ad in the magazine, analyze where your product fits in with the other advertised products.

A magazine is a very thorough research tool that can give you mountains of information about the people who read that magazine. The publisher has already done a lot of the work for you. All you have to do is read it with an eye to understand that person.

freelance copywriter, copywriting tips, white papers, rainmaking tips


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